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This release is the fourth disc of Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic’s acclaimed Mahler symphony cycle with Pentatone

New York, NY (September 8, 2023)Pentatone releases Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major “Titan, the fourth recording of the acclaimed Mahler symphony cycle with conductor Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic, which launched their Mahler symphony cycle in 2022. The cycle began with the composer’s Symphony No. 4, followed by releases of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection, the latter which was released in April 2023. The Czech Philharmonic’s recordings with Bychkov are the first complete Mahler cycle to be released by Pentatone.

Semyon Bychkov has been the Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Czech Philharmonic since 2018, and is especially associated with the works of Strauss, Shostakovich, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Wagner. Bychkov first heard the opening of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 Finale, “What Love Tells Me” as a young student in St. Petersburg. “And that is how it all started. A lifetime of exploring and loving this music,” he says. Similarly, the Czech Philharmonic’s relationship with Mahler goes back to its formative years, when the composer—who was born in Bohemia, now part of the modern-day Czech Republic—conducted the orchestra in the 1908 world première of his Symphony No. 7. 

Symphony No. 1 in D Major “Titan” (1884-1888)

Gustav Mahler

Czech Philharmonic, Semyon Bychkov

September 8, 2023

PTC: 5187043

Symphony No. 1 in D Major “Titan” (1884-1888)

I. Langsam, schleppend - Immer sehr gemächlich (16:39)

II. Kräftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell (7:29)

III. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen (10:31)

IV. Stürmisch bewegt (20:31)

Press Download Link: Google Drive / Pentatone B2B press kit


Semyon Bychkov's tenure at the Czech Philharmonic began in 2018 with concerts in Prague, London, New York, and Washington commemorating the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovak independence. Following the culmination of The Tchaikovsky Project, Bychkov and the Orchestra began their focus on Mahler. The first discs in a new Mahler cycle were released by PENTATONE in 2022, with Symphony No. 5 chosen by The Sunday Times as its Best Classical Album.

In recognition of the 2024 Year of Czech Music – a major celebration of Czech music celebrated across the Czech Republic every 10 years since 1924 - Chief Conductor and Music Director Semyon Bychkov has put the music of Antonín Dvořák at the centre of his programmes with the Czech Philharmonic throughout the 2023-24 season. In addition to conducting three programmes devoted to Dvořák in Prague, Bychkov and the Orchestra will tour the Dvořák programmes to South Korea, Japan, Spain, Austria, Germany, Belgium and the United States, as well as recording the last three symphonies for PENTATONE.

Bychkov's repertoire spans four centuries. His highly anticipated performances are a unique combination of innate musicality and rigorous Russian pedagogy. In addition to guest engagements with the world’s major orchestras and opera houses, Bychkov holds honorary titles with the BBC Symphony Orchestra - with whom he appears annually at the BBC Proms - and the Royal Academy of Music, who recently awarded him an Honorary Doctorate. Bychkov was named "Conductor of the Year’ by the International Opera Awards in 2015 and by Musical America in 2022.

Bychkov began recording in 1986 and released discs with the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio, Royal Concertgebouw, Philharmonia Orchestra and London Philharmonic for Philips. Subsequently a series of benchmark recordings with WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne featured Brahms, Mahler, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Strauss, Verdi, Glanert and Höller. Bychkov’s 1993 recording of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with the Orchestre de Paris continues to win awards, most recently the Gramophone Collection 2021; Wagner’s Lohengrin was BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Year (2010); and Schmidt’s Symphony No. 2 with the Vienna Philharmonic was BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Month (2018). 

In common with the Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov has one foot firmly in the culture of the East and the other in the West. Born in St Petersburg in 1952, he studied at the Leningrad Conservatory with the legendary Ilya Musin. Denied his prize of conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic, Bychkov emigrated to the United States in 1975 and has lived in Europe since the mid-1980’s. In 1989, the same year he was named Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris, Bychkov returned to the former Soviet Union as the St Petersburg Philharmonic’s Principal Guest Conductor. He was appointed Chief Conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra (1997) and Chief Conductor of Dresden Semperoper (1998).


Nominated for Gramophone’s 2022 ‘Orchestra of the Year’, the 127-year-old Czech Philharmonic  gave its first concert – an all Dvořák programme conducted by the composer himself - in the  famed Rudolfinum Hall on 4 January 1896. The Orchestra is acknowledged for its definitive  interpretations of Czech composers and recognised for its special relationship to the music of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Mahler, who conducted the world première of his Symphony No. 7 with  the Orchestra in 1908. It is currently recording the complete cycle of Mahler symphonies with  Chief Conductor and Music Director, Semyon Bychkov, for Pentatone. 

The Czech Philharmonic’s extraordinary and proud history reflects both its location at the very  heart of Europe and the Czech Republic’s turbulent political history, for which Smetana’s Má vlast (My Homeland) has become a potent symbol. 2024 is the tenth Year of Czech Music, a major  celebration of Czech music launched on the centenary of Smetana’s birth and celebrated across  the Czech Republic every 10 years. The Czech Philharmonic will mark Smetana’s bicentenary with  a series of concerts at the Smetana Litomyšl Festival including a rare concert performance of his  opera, Libuše, conducted by Principal Guest Conductor, Jakub Hrůša. Also in recognition of the  Year of Czech Music, the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov will take Dvořák’s final three  symphonies, and the concertos for piano, cello and violin on tour to South Korea, Japan, Spain,  Austria, Germany and Belgium. 

Throughout the Orchestra’s history, two features have remained at its core: its championing  of Czech composers and its belief in music’s power to change lives. From as early as the 1920’s  Václav Talich (Chief Conductor 1919-1941) pioneered concerts for workers, young people and  voluntary organizations, a philosophy which is equally vibrant today. 

Alongside the Czech Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra, Orchestral Academy and Jiří Bělohlávek  Prize for young musicians, a comprehensive education strategy engages with more than 400  schools bringing all ages to the Rudolfinum – some traveling as long as four hours - to hear  concerts and participate in masterclasses. An inspirational music and song programme led  by singer Ida Kelarová for the extensive Romany communities within the Czech Republic and  Slovakia has helped many socially excluded families to find a voice. In addition to an annual  education exchange with the Royal Academy of Music in London, over lockdown the Orchestra  gave seven benefit concerts which were live streamed in 4K to international audiences, raising  funds for hospitals, charities, and healthcare professionals. 

An early champion of the music of Martinů and Janáček, the works of Czech composers - both  established and new - remain the lifeblood of the Orchestra. Instigated by Semyon Bychkov at  the start of his tenure, nine Czech composers and five international composers - Detlev Glanert,  Julian Anderson, Thomas Larcher, Bryce Dessner and Thierry Escaich – were commissioned to  write for the Orchestra. 

This season’s Artist in Residence is Sir András Schiff who will have the dual roles of pianist  and conductor of the Orchestra at the Dvořák Prague Festival; will perform with the Czech  Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra as part of the Czech Chamber Music Society’s season; and will  join Semyon Bychkov for subscription concerts in Prague and on tour in Vienna, Hamburg and  Munich. 


One of the leading classical music labels in the world, Pentatone presents a diverse range of world-class artists, and is dedicated to premium quality productions captured in exceptional sound. The Label works together with today and tomorrow’s leading artists to provide timeless recordings of core, fringe, and lesser-known repertoire, with Pentatone’s uncompromising attention to the best possible quality in artistry, design and recording technology. Pentatone was awarded “Label of the Year” in 2019 by Gramophone and in 2020 by the International Classical Music Awards.


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